Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Loud Thunderstorm Awakens Los Angeles From Its Slumber

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

After a very balmy February, March is upon us and brought us the wrath of El Niño.

Rain wreaked havoc across the Southland on Saturday night, and a another powerful storm rolled in early Monday morning. One loud set of rolling thunder, in particular, struck around 6:30 a.m., awakening many Angelenos from their slumber.

Lightening & thunder out there! #elnino #southbay #ca #rain #storm

— Christine O'Donnell (@ChristineOnNews) March 7, 2016
Support for LAist comes from
Squall line moving east northeast at 45 mph with embedded gusts to 60 mph. When thunder roars go indoors! #Larkin

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) March 7, 2016

And, as one expects when a thunderstorm hits Los Angeles, the poor palm trees fell victim to their strikes. "See the palm trees? They tell you that anything is possible," Christian Bale says in Knight of Cups. This includes being burnt to a crisp by thunder:

Large tree catches fire, caused by #lightning in 700 blk Harris per @ComptonFF. No injuries (video credit: Rosie)

— Julie Sone (@ABC7JulieSone) March 7, 2016
Just saw a tree getting struck by lightning and setting on fire on my way to work. Reported it to 911. ⚡�?🌴🔥😱🚒

— Ken Chung (@kenchung) March 7, 2016

An intense downburst—a gust of wind that moves downward—knocked down a tree and damaged some roofs in Inglewood:

Power was also temporarily knocked out at LAX this morning, around 6 a.m., but eventually restored by 6:45 a.m., with some parts relying on backup generators, according to KTLA. However, no flights were canceled due to the outage.

Thankfully the storm dumped much-needed snow at the higher elevations. A winter storm warning is in effect in the mountains, with 5 to 10 inches of snow expected above 5,000 feet. Areas at 4,000 feet can see some light snow, including the Grapevine. "Travel in the mountains should be avoided, but if it is necessary, carry chains and a survival kit," said the National Weather Service.

Support for LAist comes from

Meteorologists say El Niño needs to pick up the slack this month in order to help us bust the drought, and snowpack is a crucial element in doing so. Every little bit helps:

Strong winds were felt across the region too, coming through the 5 freeway corridor through the Valley and over the Santa Monica Mountains, reports the L.A. Times. Point Mugu recorded gusts up to 64 miles per hour.

Meteorologists warned drivers on the 101 to be cautious when driving near the site of the Solimar fire, issuing a flash flood warning.

Hail fell in some areas too:

Despite all this commotion, meteorologists weren't terribly impressed. "This storm is moderately intense," Alex Tardy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego told the L.A. Times. "It's not normal for the past five years, considering what's going on with the drought, but we should be getting storms like this in the middle part of the winter. It's not spectacular, but it's a healthy storm."

The forecasters say the system is expected to dump about a half-inch to an inch of rain across the region today, with more showers and thunderstorms expected in the afternoon. Although Monday will be a little chilly with temps in the low 60s, they'll be in the 70s for the rest of the week. Temps will drop come Friday night/Saturday morning, when rain is expected to hit us again. El Niño will be back for more!